Spirit, Touchstones

The Touchstone of Spirit

The Touchstone of Spirit

I’m backdating a few posts and I’m not sorry for it. As the crowdfunding campaign for this project drew to a close, I abandoned my carefully-constructed “marketing” plan to just let spirit be my guide. In so doing, I neglected completing a blog entry for each of the seven Touchstones of this book; an oversight that feels appropriate to correct.

This short video, introducing the Touchstone of Spirit, was recorded last January, and I shiver to think of everything that has transpired since then. 

2019 has reacquainted me with loss. Heidi reminds me that the seeds of everything we have lost are contained within every loss we experience. Teejei says, “we forget until we remember again.” Again and again, I have pulled out my notes on that elemental, improvisational journey I must take from grief to joy. There’s just no shortcutting it.

But somewhere, in the inky depths of grief, grappling with mysteries I cannot fathom, there’s a small blue spark of hope. And I must have faith, turning over life’s challenges until I can grasp a grander significance.

The week before I recorded this video, I found myself in a crisis at work. Rapidfire change had me questioning my purpose and even my own capacity for making a positive impact. Then a couple of coworkers asked for my assistance. Over at their desks, we dissected the challenge and found the wordswordswords that unlocked an entirely new way of thinking about the problem.

Glancing over at an empty desk, I saw a flash of blue. Lapis blue. And I froze.

A Lapis Arrowhead, Pointing the Way

It was my Touchstone of Spirit, which I had lost—I don’t know—probably two years earlier. See, I like to tuck stones in pockets, which occasionally leads to their loss, and I’d long ago given up hope on this little pointed arrowhead. I don’t remember the fateful day I decided to carry it with me, what crisis of faith I’d been struggling with back then, but here it was, staring back at me as if to say: “Can’t you understand that I’ve been here all along?”

I do not dwell easily with mystery. I am curious, persistently so. I want to understand this heartbreaking and magical world so badly, and somewhere in my journey to adulthood I inculcated the belief that I should never not know what I want or who I am.

(Note: I tried to rewrite that last statement to avoid the double negative, but it kept losing the essential, existential fear of existing in a state of doubt.)

And so when I encounter mystery, I must stem a tide of shame that I don’t know. I must allow myself to encounter a newer way of thinking about the problem. I must set down my fear and cup my hands around a small blue flame of hope.

The Touchstone of Spirit is the one I resisted the hardest. I consider myself a novice, completely unqualified to tackle the subject. And yet the deeper our Enrichment conversations delved, the more the topic of mystery became inescapable. As inescapable as a small lapis pointing asking me to acknowledge not just life’s mysteries, but the mystery within the mix of myself.

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